in the Cornish caves,
Merlin reflects that the worst has already happened,
and is yet to be.
The grail has been lost, and found,
and will be lost again,
the table sundered, communion given
and ripped apart.
As a journeyer both ways
upon the bifurcated seconds,
Merlin knows all too well the atrophying curse
that freedom from time’s gravity entails.
He sees in every man, his corpse,
and hears babbling laughter rising
from the rock.
He has yet to lose a single soul, not utterly,
they cling to him, like chained reliquaries, about the neck.
Wherever he goes, they are with him.
And simultaneously, in his immediate relations,
there is a puff of absence.
Merlin, though, knows our pain.
He has been to this place before.
he comes near to the ocean, which knows no now,
which sings to itself without progression,
a vast forgetting.
He says the names into the wind, Arthur Pendragon
and Guinevere, Kennedy, Monroe.
They may as well be Adam and Eve.
And yet all shall return, shining in the light
of the Southeast window,
with the jousters resplendent in the field,
ours the moment, as real as day,
ours the trip of tongues and the refrain.
Merlin hums, a star twinkling in his eye, probably, somewhere.